Azure ARM VM auto shutdown feature

For some time now when using DevTest Labs it has been possible to configure an automatic shutdown and start up for virtual machines. This has enabled developers to have ready to go environments as soon as they arrive in work, taking away the time  waiting for virtual machines to start up. Having this ability to configure virtual machines this way also enables a business to keep development costs lower thanks to virtual machines only running when they are required.

This feature has only been available to businesses using DevTest Labs until very recently. It has been realised that the auto-shutdown feature was one of the most popular features used within DevTest Labs, this has led to Microsoft making the feature available for all ARM-based Azure virtual machines.

Now all users have the ability to configure an automatic shutdown time for virtual machines. This was previously only possible to do via PowerShell, now it is a built in Azure feature that can be accessed from the virtual machine blade.

The auto-shutdown feature can be configured by following the below steps:

  1. Navigate to a virtual machine blade within the Azure portal.
  2. Click Auto-shutdown in the resource menu on the left-side.
  3. You will see the auto-shutdown settings page appear on the right hand side, users have the ability to configure:
  • A time
  • Time zone
  • Webhook URL
  • Send a notification to a webhook 15 mins before shutdown
A business can now easily power down virtual machines that aren’t required at the end of a day. This allows them to ensure resources aren’t accidentally left running and ultimately have the ability to save money by cutting running costs.
It seems to me that the next logical step would be to introduce the auto-startup feature in the same way, making the feature available for everyone not just DevTest Labs. This would then enable a business to have a full control over when virtual machines are available and remove the risk of machines being left turned on when not required, therefore ultimately saving on costs.



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